Billboards to display active Tornado Warnings in Nashville

TornadoWarning billboard.JPG
Posted at 5:44 PM, May 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-21 23:34:16-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — New digital billboards in Nashville won't be advertising the next new product, but rather keeping you safe by alerting you to issued Tornado Warnings.

Wingate Media will be displaying Tornado Warnings on its digital billboards, when the alerts are issued by the National Weather Service. Wingate Media President Ike Wingate said the idea came from a local billboard company advertising in Arkansas.

Storm 5 meteorologist Bree Smith understands the importance in alerting the public in the event of severe weather.

"Sirens and severe weather warnings are how you know you're in danger and you can't make the right decision to get to safety if you don't know you need to do that," said Smith/

From now and into the future the Wingate Media billboards will be displaying active NWS tornado warnings in Nashville.

"I think billboards are great; anyway that we can get the information out there is going to empower people to make the decision that they need to seek shelter," said Smith.

The National Weather Service will send out an alert for a tornado warning in the Nashville Davidson County areas; the same alerts people get on cellphone, TV and radio, and now those same tornado warnings will be displayed on thedigital billboards.

"In the event of severe weather obviously moments matter, seconds can save lives .When it comes to having something that can serve the community well if we can be a use in that, we want to do that," said Wingate.

Wingate says the digital billboards in Nashville will be at Murfreesboro Pike and Polk Avenue, and Lebanon Road and Fesslers Lane.

"We want to be there in that moment, so they see it and they take shelter because in that situation a few minutes can make all the difference," said Wingate.

The billboards will be electronically synced with alerts from the NWS, meaning they disappear when the warnings expire.

There are similar digital tornado billboards in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.